The mobile landscape and Apple’s iOS are evolving at the speed of light.
One of the best ways to keep up with this ever changing ecosystem is the VTM iOS Developer Conference where you can attend talks by domain experts and meet many fellow developers. It’s a great way to keep your skills sharp and find inspiration.
A couple of us attended the conference over the last weekend in Boston (Nov 12-13). We enjoyed listening to an interesting variety of both technical and philosophical discussions about new features in iOS5, development strategies, and the future of mobile.
This year marked Jeff’s third time speaking at a VTM conference. He gave a talk about how to enrich the user experience of mobile apps by not limiting it to the two dimensional interface of the touchscreen. Jeff discussed how to use the many sensors available on smartphones (e.g. gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, etc.) as complimentary inputs.
Staying true to the premise of his talk, Jeff built a sample app for the audience step-by-step with a brand new UI for “time travel”. His app set the “time” by physically moving the device just like the arms of an analog clock. (check out his slides here)
Another highlight for me was the closing address, “Beyond the Gold Rush”, by Brent Simmons. He talked about the past, present, and future of mobile. Brent predicted that the next 5 years will be even more magical and revolutionary.
He challenged the audience to realize this future by “solving the hard problems” because the mainstream users have now embraced mobile devices and are ready to go way beyond the fart and flashlight apps.
We accept the challenge. Let’s get to it!
Overall the VTM conference was a great way to spend a beautiful New England weekend with comrades.
Next month a couple of us are headed to the VTM iPhone Developers Conference in Seattle! (April 9-10) It should be a great conference covering the latest trends, and with Erica Sadun as the technical chair, the conference won’t shy away from getting technical.
I’m on the speaker roster for the second time at a VTM conference. Last fall, I spoke about CoreMotion and AR (see my slides here). This time, I’ll be talking about Computer Vision and Augmented Reality. I will cover how pervasive cameras are becoming (now on the iPad!), and how they really aren’t just about photos and video anymore. Just like how phones are less and less about phone calls, and more about powerful apps, cameras are slowly becoming less and less about snapshots and more about interacting with reality. I talked about this a little over a year ago on an O’Reilly Where 2.0 talk, so it will be fun to see how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go before we all have Iron Man vision in our smartphones and tablets.
In addition to talking about trends and hopefully inspiring some ideas for the future, I’ll share some code that is applicable when dealing with the camera which will be useful in augmented reality apps and any kind of realtime video processing. I’ll cover some important aspects of using AVFoundation and OpenGL.
If you’re not registered for the conference, there’s still time to sign up, and you can get a $150 off by using the special code SEAMAL6. (That’s like getting the earlybird discount even though you’re clearly a latebird!)
PS: We’re hiring top notch iPhone/iPad engineers. Get in touch if you’re interested, or say hello at the conference if you’re attending.